84 percent of Estonian residents support Estonia’s membership in the European Union, according to the results of a study commissioned by the Government Office and conducted by pollster Turu-Uuringute AS.
A significant increase of 8 percent was already observed in 2022, and this level has remained stable in 2023.
Membership in the European Union is most strongly supported by people aged 15-29 at 93 percent, people aged 75 and older living in rural areas at 91 percent, ethnic Estonians at 89 percent, people with higher education at 84 percent, and individuals with a net income of over 800 euros per family member.
Sixty percent of Estonian residents consider Estonia’s activities in the European Union to be successful, while 28 percent view them as unsuccessful.
The opportunity to live, travel, study, and work in other EU member states is consistently seen as the most important reason for being part of the European Union — nearly half of the respondents, 47 percent, mentioned this, with 29 percent considering it the most important reason for membership.
Katrin Juhandi, deputy director for EU affairs at the Government Office, said that free movement of people has been a significant reason for being part of the EU for years, especially among young people.
“Security aspects have also been added to the mix — 34 percent of people consider enhanced security as an important reason for EU membership,” said Juhandi. She added that the respondents’ emphasis on security, along with continued high support for EU membership, confirm that the European Union convincingly demonstrated its unity and capability to counter Russia’s aggression last year.
“The EU continued to support Ukraine comprehensively and decided to open accession talks with Ukraine, while implementing new sanctions against Russia,” she added.
The study also mapped how well people believe they are informed about Estonia’s goals and interests in the European Union. 48 percent of residents consider themselves well or fairly well informed, whereas 42 percent think they are not well informed.
The sectors most commonly identified as needing EU budget support included education and research, mentioned by 39 percent of the respondents, agriculture and rural development, 38 percent, security and safety, 33 percent, and roads, energy and communication, 27 percent.
Although residents believe that EU membership is beneficial and has increased people’s well-being, the rating for the opportunity to participate in decision-making is lower.
“This is an area where we all need to make an effort to explain and share information about Estonia’s positions, the reasons behind these decisions, and how these decisions are reached,” Juhandi said.
(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)